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Fibre Placement Center at SGL Carbon Site in Meitingen Officially Opened

Thursday, January 10, 2019

When it comes to lightweight design with Carbon Fibre-Reinforced Plastics (CFRP), ­efficient series production is key to further establish this material class in more and more applications and industries. The production method of fibre placement – and automated, load-path optimised, material efficient laying and cutting of fibres – plays an important role, as this type of method is ideal for industrial production. To incorp­­or­ate the technology into more high-volume applications across industries and further improve efficiency and resource utilisation, SGL Carbon/DE and Fraunhofer-IGCV/DE founded the joint Fibre Placement Center (FPC) at the beginning of 2018.

The center is headquartered at the SGL site in Meitingen. System manufacturers Compositence GmbH/DE and BA Composites GmbH/DE as well as the Chair for Carbon Composites at the Technical University of Munich/DE have also joined the co­oper­ation. In addition, also the system experts Coriolis Group SAS and Cevotec GmbH are planning to come on board as partners.
With different high-tech systems and a space of over 500 m², the FPC offers customers the option to develop new production concepts and demonstrate them in proto­type production. In addition, SGL Carbon can begin with high-volume production of fibre-reinforced components. Both dry and pre-impregnated fibres with or different plastic resins, also referred to as thermo­plastic matrix systems, are processed. Both dry and pre-impregnated ­fibres with or without thermoplastic matrix systems will be processed.
Already today, preparations of projects for secondary and primary structural parts with aerospace companies and various auto­mo­tive parts manufacturers worldwide are ­under way. The center’s work is closely linked with that of SGL Carbon’s Lightweight and Application Center (LAC), a facility measuring again around 1500 m2 also located at the Meitingen site, where the company works with its customers to continually develop innovative lightweight structures, processes and prototypes. Thanks to the cooperation with the Tech­nical University of Munich and the Fraunhofer IGCV, the FPC team will also be accompanied by students working in the course of final thesis so that also the best possible conditions for the promotion of young talents are created.
“For us as SGL Carbon, series production of composite-based lightweight compon­ents is a crucial element of our company and growth strategy. We want components made of fibre-reinforced plastics to become a standard in every major industry. One key is the right production methods – with fibre placement being one of several trendsetting approaches. With the new center, we can now offer this technology, originally coming from the aerospace industry, also to other sectors at an industrial level,” stated Dr Jürgen Köhler, CEO of SGL Carbon.
“The Fibre Placement Center clearly reflects the mission of the Fraunhofer Society, to provide substantial support in knowledge transfer to the industry by means of applied research and to advance the industrialisation of fibre-reinforced plastics. Besides our daily cooperation at the center, we also try to reinforce the knowledge transfer, for example with dissertations at the FPC and by combining research with different MAI Carbon projects sponsored by the German federal government as part of the Spitzencluster competition or with Campus Carbon 4.0 projects,” added at the ceremony Dr Klaus Drechsler, Director of Fraunhofer IGCV and Head of the Carbon Composites chair at the TU Munich.